The field research report on perception of children’s rights, discrimination and children’s exposure to violence
The field research report on perception of children’s rights, discrimination and children’s exposure to violence will be presented in Skopje on Wednesday.
The event is organized on occasion of World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse (November 19) and the World Children’s Day (November 20), the day on which the Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child 20 years ago.
The field research was conducted by the First Children’s Embassy in the world-Megjashi, among students from 5th to 8th grade in 41 primary schools in 7 towns in Macedonia and among high school students from 1st to 3rd year in 24 high schools in 6 towns in Macedonia.
The research was conducted among 2.234 students and data was processed by Brima Galup Skopje, which used specific methodology for processing and analyzing the data.
Тhe report contains a description of the methodology and the procedures used in conducting the field research on the perception of rights and violence against children. From 1st to 8th of June 2009, the First Children’s Embassy in the World - Megjashi, Skopje, conducted field research among students from fifth to eighth grade in 41 elementary schools in 7 cities in Macedonia (Kumanovo, Skopje, Tetovo, Kicevo, Kavadarci, Prilep and Strumica) and students from first to third year in 24 high schools in 6 cities in Macedonia (Kumanovo, Skopje, Tetovo, Kavadarci, Prilep and Strumica).
The survey was conducted with 2234 students. The division according to their level of education is:
According to the ethnicity of the participants-students, 1282 or 57.4% are ethnic Macedonians, 29.5% or 659 respondents, members of Albanian nationality, 205 or 9.3% members of other nationalities, all between 10 and 18 years of age. About 88 or 3.9% of the respondents refused to answer the question.
According to the gender distribution of respondents, male respondents were in 1034 or 1078 and 46.3% or 48.3% are female respondents. About 122 or 5.5% of respondents refused to answer the question.
For the needs of the research, a random sample of schools was used drawn from the base of secondary and primary schools in the specific 7 municipalities where the survey took place (delivered by Megjashi in cooperation with the local government). From the available relevant data on students from those schools BRIMA Skopje, an associate member of GALLUP International, designed the sample which represented the students according to its location (urban-rural), according to the division of the classes and the nationality as a demographic characteristic.
For the data processing Brima used specific methods from SPSS - a software program for statistical data processing, which allowed quality summarizing of the results using statistical methods.
The survey shows that the range of the children that are familiar with the rights of the child is still not high. Namely, although Macedonia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993 and assumed responsibility for its wide dissemination (distribution), although in the 3rd grade curriculum a learning unit is taught on the Rights of the Child, the object Introducing the environment and children's rights, became a part of the compulsory curriculum in the primary schools and in the seventh grade through the subject Civil Society, the percentage of students who are not familiar with the rights of the child is high (31.21%), this is confirmed with the question of whether you heard about the Convention on the Rights of the Child, when 53% said yes, and 38.5% said no.
It is important to emphasize that only 68.0% of the respondents first got their information about the rights of the child in schools. But when we asked them when one of their rights was violated / broken did they turn to their school for help, even 65% of students responded negatively. When some of their rights had been broken, the students believed and turned to their parents 49.7%, 13.5% to the police and the ones that told the schools were only 9.1%.
On the question who is obliged to guarantee / ensure the rights of the child, their first answer was the state with 71.2%, family 68.3%, school 46.8%, and civil organizations are at the fourth place with 19.6%.
It is interesting to note that the children are mostly informed about the children's rights besides the school, 46.5% from television, home 39.1%, 28.9% via the Internet, magazine 25.6%, 10.2% Civil organizations. But when we asked them where did you hear about the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 21.3% said the webpage of the First Children's Embassy in the world and 21.1% of CSOs. In relation to this (where did you hear about the Convention on the Rights of the Child) the first place is again the school with 61.2%, 60.7% the media, via the Internet 42.6%, and at home 33.3%.
When asked whether they think that the rights of the child includes the responsibilities too, even 82.5% answered with the interpretation that the responsibility for a child is to carry out its own duties 63.9%, to behave with respect towards the others 61.8%, to respect the rights of the others 46.8%, and to support respect for the rights of the others 20.2%.
Children’s information about their rights and how much they are respected
General conclusion is that over 70 % of the children at school age are not familiar with their rights, and the rest of them are familiar but they don’t have detailed information about them. Even when they know that some of their rights are violated they don’t know where to turn to in order to protect them. An interesting fact is that most of the children heard about children's rights in school, and only 65% of them, would not ask protection in school if their rights are violated. This conclusion is a serious problem because the question is: how children will fight for their rights if they do not know them and if they can not protect them in the institution where they spent most of the day?
Most children were informed about the children’s rights through school
On the question “Have you ever heard about the Convention on the Rights of the Child?” (CRC) 53% of children answered positive, while 38.5% negative. Information of the children for the CRC is still not satisfactory. It is significant that the children are informed for the CRC at most from the schools and the media (69%) and less from the families (33%).
In order to familiarize the children with their rights and the Convention on the Rights of the child, we recommend holding more hours devoted to this subject, also debates, workshops, seminars and preparation of educational material (posters, flyers) distributed mainly through schools.
Although 68.9% of the children have been informed for their rights by the school, they didn’t turn to the schools for the violations of these rights, but to the parents 49.7%, police 13.5 and school are addressed only 9.1%.
Perhaps the reason for that are the teachers / professors, who are put on first place by the children for the violation of the children’s rights (29.7%) out of the family, then friends 27.8 % and neighbors 22.8%
The survey showed that 60% of respondents are not familiar with the SOS telephone numbers where they can call for help. From the above mention known numbers, the 83% of the respondents are familiar with the police number. 30% of children called on the phone numbers for help, from which 76% to the police. From this it is evident that children are not sufficiently familiar with the phone numbers for help, exclusion from that is the telephone number of the police.
The survey shows that 55-77% of children are sufficiently informed about the issues of education, addiction, prevention of HIV / AIDS and transmitted diseases, culture and health. This statistic, however, refers to children who attend school and are part of urban families. Benefits of information do not have children who are on the street, who are coming from vulnerable groups and children from rural areas.
In the family, children's rights are most respected by grandparents and less than their parents. According to data obtained within the family often violations of children's rights are made by the brother / sister. In case of violation of same right, children often refer to the family, and less than 25% reefer to the SOS phones and other institutions.
On the question "Which rights are not respected in your family" 60% of respondents answered that it is the right of privacy, 32% right of own opinion, while 7% said it was right to education.
Not knowing the rights of identity, equality, freedom of choice and friendship, the right to be informed, is serious problem because it is right with an essential meaning and rights which are an important feature of any democratic state.
On the question of who is obliged to protect/ ensure their rights, at first place they put the state with 71.2%, than the family 68.3%, the school 46.8% and NGO’s are on fourth place with 19.6%.
It is interesting to note that the children for the children 's rights at most are informed besides the school, 46.5% from television, home 39.1%, 28.9% via the Internet, magazine, 25.6%, 10.2% NGO’s. But when we asked them where have you heard about the Convention on the Children’s Rights, 21.3% of respondents answered from the website of the First Children's Embassy in the world and 21.1% of NGO’s. Regarding the question (where have you heard about the Convention on the Rights of the Child) in the first place is again the school with 61.2%, 60.7% the media, via the Internet 42.6% and home 33.3%.
Investigation showed that the right of the child to be heard is very rarely practiced in schools and other places.
Asked whether the rights of the child include also the responsibilities with YES answers 82.5%. On the question "What according to you is the responsibility of the child” respondents said that responsibility is to carry out their duties and to behave with respect towards others (up to 64%), while very small percentage (1%) responded that the responsibility is to respect adults (parents) to learn and perform duties in school.
For this information, the children themselves who conducted field research believe that talking about respect for adults and parents is of least importance to children. According to them, to change this situation it is necessary the family to function on more democratic way, or more to be respected and taken into consideration the opinion of the child when making decisions in the family, with which among other thinks friendly relations will be established between the parents and children and with that will be more respected.
Additional efforts are needed to provide training in teaching, health, social and other personnel from this area in the context to make a full introduction to the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Although the children's rights became part of the compulsory curriculum in elementary schools through the subjects Introduction of environment and civil society, it seems that it is still not enough, additional steps are needed for children to be introduced with their rights, and even more to be respected.
General conclusion is that violence is everywhere present in extremely high percentage (family, school, street, among peers). According to children who have conducted field research, most cases of violence remain invisible because children are afraid to talk about it. Their recommendation is to encourage children to talk about these problems because silence complicates the solution of problems.
Violence in the school
We are not surprised by the fact that 57% of children know children who have been hit by the teacher / professor, as the fact that 35% of children are informed of the existence of violence by children against professors / teachers.
On the question whether in your school violence happens? - 56% of students answered affirmative, while 14% of them said that violence happens every day.
In high school violence is 6% more present than in the primary.
The children defined the following forms of violence in school:
1. Abusive names and nicknames 65.7%
2. Assaults 58.6%
3. Spreading lies - gossip 56.1%
4. Hitting - beatings, 55.6%
5. Threatening with physical violence, 48.1%
6. Among the forms of violence that exist in school environments sexual harassment is calculated for which 9% answered affirmative. We believe that this figure is higher because many children do not know what is meaning of the sexual harassment (probably because in the school there is not sexual education), and one part of them are ashamed to admit.
Do they know child who have been hit by the teacher/professor? - 57.4% answered positively.
Are you informed about cases of violence conducted by the student upon teacher / professor? - 35% affirmative answers
But when we asked them how teacher hit a child:
Like most frequent forms of psychological violence among teacher - child are the following categories:
From these tables, the question arise whether teachers considered physical abuse as more effective pedagogical measure, so they applied and think it could be tolerated?
Most cases of school violence remain invisible because children are afraid to speak. Children should be encouraged to speak about violence because silence complicates the solution of problems.
Vulgar words are the first form of violence by children to teachers, unlike teachers to children when the slap the first place.
On the question are you informed about cases of violence of student upon teacher / professor, affirmative answers 35%!
Violence in the family, between children on same age on street
64% of the children answered that in their families there is no violence, while 21% of the children reported that there is violence, of which 2.3% responded that it happens every day. But although 64% of children said that there is no violence in their families, on the question whether they have been hit, 41.6% of them confirmed that have been hit in the family, which is only 15.8% less than the percentage of children who were hit in school, as well as confirmation that 35.9% were hit in the street.
On the question "Whether happen to you to strike a member of your family?" With YES answer 15.5% of respondents, form which 14% are male and 18% female. Regarding the physical assault most expressed categories are assaulting (30%) and mockery (18%). This is very expressed at students of third year (45% assaulting; 24 % despise). According to the children researchers, probably that is due to the fact that it comes to older children who are physically and mentally developed and on which parents can not apply physical force. A similar percentage representation there is in the opposite situation, when children personally insult or despise any family member.
Violence between children on same age
More than half (64.2%) of children answered that the violence is present between them. They said that slap is usually use as a form of violence, then the violence with vulgar words or threats. The highest is the percentage of children who answered that were offended by classmate. The number of children who said that they personally hit classmate (21.8%) is not to neglect, is more present among males and also more present among high schools than pupils from basic school.
According to the results of survey even 65% of children answered that there is violence on the streets of which 22% reported that it happens every day.
On the question where can I go for help, the children cited emergency services and information (192,193,194 and 188) and then SOS lines, of which only 25% of the children know the SOS telephone
Which of these numbers have you ever called?
It may be noted that the telephone number 192 of The Police is the most frequent where children call and request assistance with 76.2, than is SOS telephone for children and youth 0800 12222 with 20.1 SOS for help with drug and 13.0% SOS for help with human trafficking 12.6%
General conclusion is that the basic principle and the right not to be discriminated is at least known among children, which also indicates the danger that they in situations when are discriminated not notice this as discrimination, because they don’t have enough knowledge about it. It is necessarily in the process of education to pay more attention to raising awareness of the pedagogical staff and students on issues of (non) discrimination.
Only 1.3% of children are familiar with the right of equality (no discrimination)?
39% of children surveyed in this research believe that once in a situation were discriminated, while 40% feel that in some situations have been oppressed and that due to age (44%), 23% social origin, ethnic group to which they belong (17% ), gender (16%), religion (15%). Girls feel more discrimination by sex (19.1%) than boys (12.2%).
As the most common grounds for discrimination, the children named age which according to us indicates that children are not sufficiently treated equally with adults and not act on them as the subjects. Follows discrimination on grounds of social origin, language, ethnicity, gender and religion.
The discrimination based on age is very present in cities and Kavadarci and Kicevo (60%) and least in Tetovo and Kumanovo. (40%). Age as a reason for discrimination is more present between students from grade 7 (every second feels discriminating) and less between students from grade 8. (each third feels of discriminating)
23% of children answered that their social background is the basis for discrimination, that it creates a different relationship to them by others. Half of them answered that they felt discriminated on the basis of social background by friends and 44% by teachers.
One quarter (23%) of the children answered that their social background is the basis for discrimination, that it creates a different relationship to them by others and that half of them said they feel discriminated on the basis of social background by friends and 44% by teachers.
Social differences and gaps that exist in the society are reflecting in the attitude of the teachers towards children and also reflected between children themselves.
Approximately 20% of the children answered that they feel discriminated because of their ethnic origin. From these, the boys (27%) feel more discriminated than the girls (16%). The research shows that this kind of discrimination is more present among children. Unequal relationship on this basis, the children perceive from their friends (46%), classmates (30.8%).
The discrimination on ethnic origin is more present in the cities of Tetovo (31%) and Kicevo (32%) respectively on the discrimination based on the language, which indicates the necessity of taking measures that would have acted in the direction of reducing the occurrence, especially through appropriate training programs.
Boys feel more discriminated (22%) on this basis than girls (12%). This kind of discrimination dominates in the first year of high school (23%), is less present in the third year of high school (10%).
Discrimination based on gender is more felt by the girls than boys (a difference of 8%). Like the previous two grounds of discrimination, this ground for discrimination is more present in Tetovo (20%) and Kicevo (21%).
Discrimination based on gender is more felt by girls than boys (a difference of 8%). Like the previous two grounds of discrimination, this ground for discrimination is more present in Tetovo (20%) and Kicevo (21%). It occurs most among students of first year high school (23%) and at least a third year high school (11%).
The language as a basis for discrimination is more present in Tetovo (29%) and less in Kavadarci. (6%). Often occurs in 6 grades, and at least the 3rd year high school.
The religion as a basis for discrimination is more present among children from 5th grade (31%), and at least in third year school high school (5.7%) and usually occurs in Tetovo (25%) and Kicevo (32%).
More information about the survey see on www.childrensembassy.org.mk
- All children (70) who conducted field research and coordinators
- All 65 primary and secondary schools that allowed this research to be conducted
- Local Self Government (16 municipalities): Strumica, Kavadarci, Tetovo, Kumanovo, Prilep, Skopje and Kicevo.
- Financiers of the survey as one of the activities provided by the project "Building a Culture of Children's Participation", funded by the European Commission as part of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights - (EIDHR) and co-financed by UNICEF.
Full version here